The discovery of the ironstone at Skinningrove in 1847 unlocked the industrial potential of Teesside.
Men flocked to the area to make Cleveland the most important ironstone mining district in England, responsible for one third of iron output. By the 1880s there were nearly one hundred ironstone mines. These lasted until the end of World War Two, when cheaper imported ore led to their closure.
Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum was founded in 1983 by a group of volunteers concerned that the remains of the ironstone mining industry were rapidly being lost, forgotten or destroyed.
The museum offers visitors the opportunity to travel underground and experience the world of an ironstone miner. The original collection of mining artifacts accumulated by local journalist Tom Leonard continues to be added to, telling the astounding story of the industry and the lives of its miners.